Attorney bio portraits have, thankfully, improved in recent years. In the four years since we last wrote about attorney portraits – photos have gotten bigger, brighter and more striking than ever.
What’s out: Gone are the rigid, formal photos that looked like they were shot in the basement of Sears (perhaps with the painted bookshelf in the background).
What’s in: The newest crop of photos is much more casual and engaging. The formality of the past has given way to a more authentic approach.
According to Greg Lorfing, President of Gittings (the lawyer-portrait juggernaut), one key change is how people are posed. “In the past, attorneys were often shot sitting on stools. This results in a formal, stiff look. We now photograph people standing, sitting relaxed in a chair or even leaning against a wall – which results in a friendlier, more approachable looking portrait.”
THE BEST PORTRAITS
We’ve scoured the web looking for the best lawyer bio portraits. The results of our research are below. If you’ve got any to add, please leave a comment!
When it comes to artistic originality, CMK wins top honors. This collection of portraits is worthy of a coffee table book. Each attorney has a different pose and is positioned uniquely within the canvas. In many cases, the subjects are mysteriously looking off-camera. A fantastic brand-statement for a dynamic firm.
Wow – these photos are used big. Really big! And they are beautifully shot. It should be noted that large, full-body portraits work best for small firms with exceptionally fit, good-looking attorneys. Visit Website
These Canadians sure know how to dress. With the stylish clothing, dynamic posing and fancy Photoshop work – these photos look like they were taken from the pages of Vogue. Visit Website
Simpson Thatcher clearly spent the money to hire a top-notch photographer for its new website. The portraits look great. But what’s with the associates ghosted in the background? My prediction: this trend ends with Simpson Thatcher. Visit Website
Winstead’s photos are big, bright and engaging. And the out-the-window approach conveys a nice sense of place. These photos were, incidentally, shot by Gittings. Visit Website
These photos are remarkable in that they were all shot differently. Different settings. Different poses. Facing different directions. This variation creates an engaging array of photos. And it also allows the photographer the flexibility to shoot everybody in a manner that makes them look best. Although the Coblentz photos are striking, they are used much too small on the website. It looks like all of their website budget was spent on photography – and didn’t leave enough to design the website to properly accommodate the photos. Visit Website
Winston & Strawn
These portraits are remarkably simple: black-and-white photos on a white seamless background. That said, they were executed beautifully. The attorneys seem lively and expressive. Visit Website
OTHER NOTABLE PHOTOS
These photos are not necessarily the best. And they are not necessarily portrait photos – but we thought that they were interesting enough to be included.
Axiom isn’t technically a law firm – and these aren’t technically bio portraits. That said, the uber-casual vibe and non-traditional settings make them remarkable. It’s rare to see lawyers represented this way. Visit Website
I’m not sure what this firm is trying to say about itself, but its portrait photos resemble stills taken from an angst-ridden, brooding art film. Perhaps they just do things differently in Belgium.
Maclean Law created a page for each attorney, entitled “A Day in the Life,” that contains a beautiful array of engaging photos of them in and out of the office. It’s a fantastic idea for a firm like Maclean that focuses on family law. That said, these photos are oddly located away from an attorney’s bio – on a satellite site that looks confusingly similar to the firm’s main website. Visit Website
These portraits look like they were shot in the woods. This is clearly not the right look for every firm. However, it might be a good move if you’re located in Lake Oswego, Oregon and want to distinguish your firm from your big-city competitors back east.
Did I leave anything out? If you know of any other great lawyer portraits, I'd love to hear about them. Leave a comment below.